Al Sadeem Astronomy’s resident astronomer Aldrin B. Gabuya took the opportunity to image the Markarian’s Chain on a clear, calm night of May 18, 2018. This is the final stacked and post-processed image of just a portion of the galaxy chain taken using Vixen ED115S refractor mounted on Skywatcher EQ6 pro mount, and ZWO1600MC-cool camera from Al Sadeem Observatory.
The Markarian’s Chain is known for its astounding 8 galaxies stretching across an area of space within the Virgo Cluster. The Armenian astronomer Benjamin Markarian, to which this deep-sky object was named after, first discovered a common coherent motion of some of these galaxies in space with others superposed in the line of sight. The galaxy chain particularly consists of two (Charles) Messier Objects M84 and M86 with addition of the 6 galaxies listed on the New General Catalogue of 1888 by John L.E. Dreyer namely NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, and “The Eyes” (interacting galaxy pair NGC 4438 and NGC 4435). The chain lies just above Messier 87 galaxy cluster in which the supermassive M87 is the brightest and most dominant in the entire galaxy cluster region.
Telescopes of small focal lengths can reveal the entire galaxy chain, most likely the brighter galaxies while larger telescopes of 8 inches and higher can spot the fainter ones. The Markarian’s Chain is found within the Virgo-Coma Berenices border or the region between the stars Denebola and Vindemiatrix.